Hale ‘Aina Happenings: What’s New With Hawai‘i Restaurants in September 2019

A pastry pop-up with liliko‘i brioche, a new place for taco Tuesday and where you can dine on four Hale ‘Aina-award winning chefs’ dishes in one place.

Halekūlani Bakery & Restaurant Pop-Up

Halekulani Bakery Bread Options
Photo: Courtesy of Halekūlani


Something new is popping up in Waikīkī and you can get a sneak taste. The Halekūlani Bakery & Restaurant is opening a small shop three more times offering fresh baked bread, pastries and sweets to take home. The menu this weekend includes cheese, edamame, and fig and nut bread; banana coconut kouign amann, liliko‘i brioche and pan au chocolat; and Kona coffee malt balls, jasmine sable cookies, and macadamia nut or liliko‘i macadamia nut pearls. The pop-up is a preview of what the new restaurant will offer once it opens in its permanent spot, the Halepuna Waikīkī which is slated to open this fall in the site of the former Waikīkī Parc Hotel. Our sister site Frolic Hawai‘i already went shopping, and discovered a few favorite finds.


Prices range from $3.50 to $19.50. Sundays, Sept. 22, Oct. 6 and 13, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Halekūlani Gatehouse, 2199 Kālia Road, (800) 367-2343, halekulani.com


Taco and Tequila Tuesdays at 12th Ave Grill

12th Ave Grill Crab Taco
Photo: Courtesy of 12th Ave Grill


There’s just one more chance to sip tequila and mezcal cocktails for 40% off at this consistent Kaimukī Hale ‘Aina winner. No reservations are allowed, just slide into the bar before the seats fill up. This week’s taco menu included shrimp and lobster, ground beef and fried potato options starting at $3 each along with other craft bar specials that usually start as low as $4. Get there early!


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 5:30 to 9 p.m. 1120 12th Ave., (808) 732-9469, 12thavegrill.com


SEE ALSO: 12 Tasty Ways to Satisfy Your Taco Craving in Honolulu 


Cocktails at Rangoon Burmese Kitchen


Our 2019 Editor’s pick for Best New Restaurant has its liquor license, and although it means you’ll need to leave those bottles at home, there’s a new list of a dozen cocktails to choose from to pair with your tea leaf salad, curries and prawns with Burmese sour leaf. Options range from the Gin Bramble (fresh basil and cucumbers, lemon and gin) to the Pagoda Passion (vodka, liliko‘i, lime, orange bitters and egg white) and G-Fortune (tequila, mango, lychee and lemon). Prices range from $10 to $12.


Open 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. for lunch, 5 to 10 p.m. for dinner Monday through Saturday. 1131 Nu‘uanu Ave., (808) 367-0645


Pai Summer Oktoberfest Dinner

Pai Honolulu Spaetzle Oktoberfest
chef kevin lee’s spin in spaetzle is part of pai honolulu’s special oktoberfest prix fixe menu.
Photo: Courtesy of Pai Honolulu


Warm potato and bierwurst salad, schnitzel and spaetzle are the specials at Pai’s version of Germany’s beer-centric celebration. The six-course prix fixe menu starts with pretzel rolls and beer cheese sauce and ends with dark chocolate fudge cake with black cherry compote. Dinner is available with or without pairings of German wines and beer. Prost!


Tuesday, Sept. 24, 5:45—10 p.m. $81.06, $118.48 with pairings. 55 Merchant St. (808) 744-2531, hnltix.com


SEE ALSO2019 Hale ‘Aina Award Winners: The Best Restaurants in Hawai‘i


First Sunday Brunch at Michel’s

Michelʻs at the Colony Surfʻs patio
Photo: Courtesy of Michelʻs at the colony surf


Brunch just got a little more romantic. Michel’s at the Colony Surf has launched a monthly brunch so you can sip a special mimosa and sit by the shore. For $56 (tax and gratuity not included) diners start with house-made yogurt, berries, Mānoa honey and a croissant. Then, select an appetizer, main dish and dessert. The menu for October includes curried seafood crepes with shrimp, local fish, scallops and blue crab; Scottish smoked salmon served with a German potato pancake and a dill cucumber salad; chef Toni’s Punalu‘u Sweet Bread French Toast with vanilla coconut custard and applewood bacon; prime rib-eye with garlic mashed potatoes and baked tomatoes; eggs Benedict à la Michel’s; a duo of mango and coconut sorbet; and macadamia nut and peach cobbler with cinnamon gelato. Add $10 for your choice of one of five special mimosas. 


First Sunday of the month starting Oct. 6, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. $56. $66 with mimosa. Tableside bloody mary service is also available for $12. 2895 Kalākaua Ave., #100, (808) 923-6552, michelshawaii.com


On Sale Now

HONOLULU Magazine’s Rosé Soirée presented by Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

2018 Rose Soiree photo
Photo: Gregory Yamamoto


It’s hot. Let’s rosé. Our celebration of these refreshing wines welcomes four Hale ‘Aina-award winning chefs, a tasty newcomer and gorgeous (and clearly Instagrammable) nonalcoholic sips from Best of HONOLULU winning local business Gazoz in the IBM Courtyard at Ward Village. Join us for dishes from Pai, Feast by chef Jon Matsubara, La Vie and 12th Ave Grill after a refreshing stop at Heaven on Earth Salon and Day Spa’s pampering station. Upgrade to VIP for early entry, a seat in the chic lounge and service by Senia.


$65, $95 for VIP. Saturday, Oct. 12, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. VIP entrance at 5:30 p.m. IBM Building at Ward Village, 1240 Ala Moana Blvd., hnltix.com



Upcoming Hale ‘Aina Events:


Sept. 18Stone Beer five-course dinner at Square Barrels


Sept. 24Stage Restaurant Wine Ovation Dinner


Sept. 28Bevy’s Six-Year Anniversary party


Sept. 28—Vino serves at Festa Italiana


Sept. 30Moon Night at Vegan Hills


HONOLULU Magazine established the Hale ‘Aina Awards in 1984, becoming the first local restaurant awards program. The first event was a potluck celebration in a HONOLULU Magazine conference room and over the years it’s grown into a glamorous gala. Now, it’s Hawai‘i’s longest-running and most distinguished culinary awards program, voted on by the savvy readers of HONOLULU Magazine for the best restaurants in Hawai‘i in 38 categories.